Severity

During 2015, the users of laboratory animals have continuously evaluated the severity of the experiment on each animal and reported the maximum severity that each individual animal has experienced at the end of the experiment (source: the Animal Experiments Inspectorate’s annual report 2015).

The severity is divided into four different levels

  1. Non-recovery meaning that the animal gets sedated before being exposed to the experimental procedure as well as the animal being put down while still being sedated. Therefore, the animal will only experience discomfort when being sedated. This is considered the mildest form of animal testing.
  2. The mild severity means that the animal is conscious during parts or the entire experiment but the degree of impact is not considered to be particularly harmful. Examples of this include blood tests and injections, introducing substances into the body.
  3. The moderate severity causes the animal to experience transient but moderate pain, suffering or distress. Examples of this includes testing  of drugs that gives moderate side effects, starvation in more than 48 hours (for rats) , chemotherapy or radiation, cancer that has an impact on the animal or restricted movement in an extended period of time.
  4. The severe severity means that the animal experiences a great amount of pain, suffering, distress or significant weakening. Examples of this include a vaccine test which can lead to death for some animals, radiation that destroys the animal’s immune system, electric shock, a prolonged restriction of movement or models with progressive lethal diseases.

Finding dead animals in their stables can occur. In such an event, the animal have by definition experienced a severe severity – unless the death of the animal is known for certain and it is possible to prove that the animal have experienced less severity.

Species and severity (Denmark 2015)

Non recovery

%

Mild (up to and including)

%

Moderate

%

Servere

%

Total

Mice

13.720

8,81%

91.134

58,53%

49.452

31,76%

1.387

0,89%

155.693

Rats

5.596

11,51%

22.929

47,15%

19.828

40,77%

279

0,57%

48.632

Guinea-Pigs

321

12,15%

2.100

79,46%

222

8,40%

2.643

Hamsters (Syrian)

172

100,00%

172

Other Rodents

86

100,00%

86

Rabbits

255

15,29%

327

19,60%

1.082

64,87%

4

0,24%

1.668

Cats

59

100

59

Dogs

2

1,15%

161

92,53%

11

6,32%

174

Other carnivores

766

86,46%

120

13,54%

886

Horses, donkeys & cross-breeds

120

100,00%

120

Pigs

1.071

10,12%

7.372

69,69%

2.006


18,96%

130

1,23%

10.579

Goats

11

100,00%

11

Sheep

25

53,19%

22

46,81%

47

Cattle

105

18,92%

450

81,08%

555

Other Mammals

2

5,26%

36

94,74%

38

Domestic fowl

1.826

75,86%

523

21,73%

58

2,41%

2.407

Other birds

4

0,91%

417

95,21%

16

3,65%

1

0,23&

438

Reptiles

233

87,92%

32

12,08%

265

Rana

Xenopus

64

100,00%

64

Other Amphibians

2

7,69%

24

92,31%

26

Zebrafish

2.450

96,84%

80

3,16%

2.530

Other fish

50

0,29%

6.904

39,87%

10.135

58,52%

229

1,32%

17.318

Total

21.256

137.077

83.910

2.168

244.411

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